Arriving at the start of a session can unleash a whole host of emotions…happy, excited, worried, shy, sad, tired, and anxious. The main challenge is crossing the cloakroom threshold into the exciting and inviting Burrow. This takes place with the help of one of the lovely Burrow staff…Soraya the room leader, Lauren the Forest School leader, Nic the ‘Arty one’, Ezme, Francesca (one of our newest members), Nina or Jemma (part time staff in the Burrow) – there are so many to choose from! Children are always reminded that their mummy, daddy or main carer will come back later at the ‘right time’ to pick them up and that now it’s time to play!
There are so many lovely things to play with. Downstairs there are opportunities to get really messy (something that doesn’t always happen at home) and upstairs there are sooo many toys including small world garages, farms and train stations, construction toys, kitchen role play and a lovely cosy book space where we can enjoy our favourite stories.
When the wind chime sounds we know that it’s time to stop playing so that all the little Burrowers can sit together for Circle time. This is a great time for feeling special as the adults always greet us by saying our name and saying “Hello” and therefore make our learning environment warm, welcoming and safe. We talk about our feelings and demonstrate these with our faces and body language. We sing songs, play instruments and have fun using our listening and attention skills.
Free flow play is fun in the Burrow. It means we get to choose where we want to play…upstairs, downstairs or under the archway. Every day a group of children goes to Forest School where Lauren plans exciting activities such as bug hunting, climbing on the timber trail, visiting the pond at the end of the orchard or visiting the farm. Our snack times take the form of a picnic where we share food and drinks together with our friends. If appropriate we also visit other areas of the Free Rangers’ site.
More free flow play includes opportunities to play in the big garden where we meet the children from the Den. Some of these children have just moved from the Burrow so it’s great to see our old friends. Throughout the morning the adults take it in turns to ask if we need our nappies changed or need to use the potty or toilet depending where we are with our self help skills.
Just before lunch time we have a short circle time where we enjoy being together and get ourselves ready for having a delicious lunch. Hand washing gets easier and we’re encouraged to take a paper towel from its dispenser, unfold it and dry our hands independently.
We have to remember to use our knife and fork to eat our lunch and are encouraged to try everything on our plate even if it is by giving something a little lick. Quite often we’re surprised by the taste and go on to eat more! When lunch is finished we retire upstairs where one of the adults puts tired children to bed and another adult shares books and songs with us. This is a lovely relaxing time. Downstairs the remaining adults quickly clear away the lunchtime things so that the room is ready for the little Burrowers to explore all over again…
Oh happy days!
Thank you for reading.